A nine-year-old cancer survivor from our area is on a mission to help other children in the hospital enjoy the holidays.
Avery Armstrong has a big goal. He wants to collect at least 1,500 toys to give to local pediatric units and St. Jude.
“I know what it’s like to be in the hospital, and something just as small as a toy car would cheer somebody up,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was four.
“I really didn’t know at that time what it meant, but I was told don’t cry,” he said.
After being in and out of treatment at St. Jude in Memphis for three years, Avery had his last chemo session two years ago.
Every Christmas since then, he’s been collecting toys to give back. This year, close family-friend, Krista Wharton asked if her Johnson City store, Monkee’s, could be a collection site.
“We want to have boxes and boxes of toys for this toy drive for Avery,” Wharton said. “Nothing warms my heart more than to see children who want to give back to children.”
And Avery’s favorite part is always making a child smile.
If you want to donate, the family asks that you bring an unwrapped toy to any of their 17 drop off sites in Johnson City and Greeneville.
Those sites include:
Monkee’s and Johnson City Toyota in Johnson City. At Monkee’s, for every donation, you will be entered to win a $100 gift card.
And in Greene County: The Burlap Bunny, Ace Hardware, 911 Office, Greene County Clerk’s Office, Tusculum Baptist Church, Gosnell’s Stereo and Music, Peggy Ann Bakery, Heritage Bank (all three locations), Corley’s Pharmacy, Chuckey Elementary School, Doak Elementary School, W&J Scents, Dollar General in Chuckey, Dollar General in the Towne Square Shopping Center, and Pop’s Market and Grill.
Toys can be dropped off until December 5th.
There will also be a special community drop off day at the Walmart in Greeneville on November 26th from 9 am-1 pm. The Armstrong Family will be there. Avery will be shopping for toys at the Walmart.
As for Avery, although he’s in remission, he still needs to be tested every year, for the next ten years.